"Oh, there's a lot of opportunities
If you know when to take them, you know?"
I found this Wired article via Fark today. Most of it doesn't surprise me. Moscow is a cruel town, like many big cities around the world. And in a city with a dark heart, a spam king who blankets people with crap, shorts his staff on pay, and lives a visibly decadent lifestyle ain't gonna last long.
I *was* surprised to see that the Spam-nik dude was into Scientology. That's a curveball I hadn't expected.
The former Soviet Union has a huge industry on the dark side of the Internet and technology - from music and software piracy to identity theft, viruses, and major league hacking. You can't even call it a shadow industry, considering the hubris demonstrated by its nefarious, unscrupulous participants.
There are a lot of brilliant minds in the old CCCP, most of them honest, hardworking people I admire - particularly considering the economic (and socio-political) adversity they face - but there are plenty of outrageously smart, but unethical, amoral peeps who really don't care if they rob you blind. They just want a sweet ride, a nice dacha, and lots and lots of bling-chiki. And the Russian government - and the other governments in the region - do very little to curb it. When you can buy the latest hit CD, a yet unreleased major film, and a perfect bootleg copy of Photoshop or MS Office for ten bucks at thousands of street kiosks and markets throughout the old Soviet empire, you know that the powers that be don't give a crap. It's the magic of commerce, after all!
"I can program a computer, choose the perfect time
If you've got the inclination, I have got the crime..."
They should all be ashamed of themselves for even wanting to participate in the WTO at this point, frankly.
Yeah, there are lots of opportunities out there. For sure.
There's also a special place in Hell for spammers and pirates and others who steal creativity. The Moscow Spam King just got there sooner than most...